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Lyla Hope was born on May 24.

She spent three minutes on this earth before Jesus brought her home and made her whole again.

Lyla Hope’s parents are good friends of ours and we watched in admiration as they walked every step of this difficult journey, from the time her condition was diagnosed through a season of desperate prayer until the day the laid a tiny casket in the ground.  Once it became apparent that Lyla would likely not survive outside the womb, doctors recommended that the pregnancy be “terminated.”  Instead, Lyla’s parents made the incredibly courageous decision to carry her until God chose to carry her home.  For months, Lyla’s parents and their friends lifted fervent prayers to God asking over and over again for healing; holding on to hope.  We were privileged to join our voices with dozens of others who brought this one request before the throne of God.

And then on May 24, God brought healing to Lyla Hope in His presence.

What do we do now?

How do we deal with something so senseless and painful?

As followers of Christ we are reminded in these moments that we have a precious commodity that is unique to believers.  Hope.  We do not grieve like the world around us (1 Thess. 4:13).  Instead we hold on to a hope that does not disappoint us (Rom. 5:3-5), a hope that is forged in suffering and sealed by the saving love of Christ (Rom. 8:38-39).  We have hope that one day we will see Lyla again, when death is finally “swallowed up in victory” (1 Cor. 15:54-57).  And in the face of such suffering, we are reminded just how precious hope is.  For the believer, hope is not wish or a fantasy.  It is a rock.  It is an anchor.  In these moments the words of this hymn ring so true:

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness
I dare not trust the sweetest frame
But wholly lean on Jesus name

On Christ the solid rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand
All other ground is sinking sand

When all around my soul gives way
He then is all my hope and stay
In every high and stormy gale
My anchor holds within the vale

On Christ the solid rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand
All other ground is sinking sand

As I was writing Lyla’s song, I kept coming back to her name – Lyla Hope.  Putting these meager words on paper felt like clutching at driftwood in the midst of a stormy sea.  But there is a rock.  There is an anchor.  All I could do was point us back to hope, just like Lyla.

Hope is Lyla’s enduring legacy, and in the song she personifies hope.  The word is used not just to represent the concept, but to represent her.  And thus these words are the emotional apex of the song:

But our hope, our hope is secure
Such a fragile thing but still it will endure
And our hope calls us to the light
Where one day every hope will be made sight

So this is for Lyla and her family.  She points to something greater than herself, and reminds us to hold on to hope.


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About the Author

David Ray

David Ray is a worship leader, artist and songwriter from Houston, Texas. He and his wife, Jess, are the creators of Doorpost Songs, a series of songs and resources designed for kids worship, multi-gen worship, and family worship. Dave and Jess are the parents of three rambunctious kids and they love getting to serve churches and families across the nation.

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